Bring the traditions to life

The nights have become cooler, the smells of fried faral goodies and the sound of kids playing in the evening fills the air. All this and we know that Diwali is just around the corner. A sense of festivities is in the air. Shopping, dusting, cleaning and cooking is in the priority list. Family gatherings are the highlight of the season. The star of the celebrations is the plate of assorted faral that is presented with love and affection.

Every house has their speciality of snacks that are prepared before hand, be it chivda, chakli, anarse, karanji, shankarpali and shev. Lip smacking delicacies that we associate with the memories of Diwali. As kids we used to eagerly wait for the first batch of chaklis to be fried and ready for tasting. Cool evenings with a cup of tea, great company and faral is what we are looking forward to. Chitale Bandhu’s faral collection is synonymous with the celebratory rituals of this season. The consistent taste to make sure you get the same amazing flavour that you associate with the memories of your childhood takes you down the memory lane.

Diwali memories include a distinct time spent with grandparents for they are the ones passing down stories and rituals, carried from generations to us. What a beautiful way to keep traditions alive. One such fond recollection is that of ajji sitting and making garlands, encircled by kids sitting around her eagerly to listen to stories and facts about Diwali. A wonderful thread of bond created while handing down stories and customs to the youngest of the family.

Giving a small tribute to that wonderful memory in our small way, we bring to you a quick read to recapture the vibe of this festive season. Five days of celebrations, five days of festivities and five fun facts that will set you in the mood for the week long fun spree.

Day 1- Dhana Trayodashi

The first day of Diwali is Dhanvantari Trayodashi also known as Dhanteras, when Lord Dhanvantari appeared, delivering Ayurvedic medicine for mankind. This day marks the beginning of Diwali celebrations. At sunset, devotes bathe and offer oil lamps along with prasada to Yamaraja, the Lord of Death, and pray for protection from untimely death.

The arrays of lighting lamps starts with this auspicious day to set the tone of the festivities to come.

This day signifies the importance of health which brings us prosperity into our lives.

2. Day 2- Narka Chaturdashi

On this day Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasura and liberated the 16,000 princesses the demon held captive. A day that reminds us of the victory of good over evil to reinforce our faith in goodness. On this day, pooja is performed with oil, flowers and sandalwood. The smell of chandan lingering in the air just transports the mind into a spiritual space.

3. Day 3- Lakshmi poojan

This is the actual day of Diwali, commonly known as the Hindu New Year. The faithful cleanse themselves and join with their families and priests to worship the goddess Lakshmi, consort of Lord Vishnu, to receive blessings of wealth, prosperity, triumph of good over evil, light over darkness. This is also the day Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya, having successfully rescued Sita and defeated the demon Ravana.

This well known story is so engraved in our minds that we all have a pictorial vision associated with it. The woman of the house is revered as the Lakshmi who attracts good fortune for her family.

4. Day 4- Bali pratipada / Padwa

On this day, Govardhana Puja is performed, a spiritual harvest festival. Thousands of years ago, Lord Krishna caused the people of Vrindavan to perform Govardhana Puja.

Bali Maharaja was defeated on this day by Lord Krishna's dwarf brahmana incarnation, Vamanadeva.

In Vrindavan, a huge ritual in accordance with the traditions is performed around the Govardhan mountain to this day.

5. Day 5- Bhau beej

Also known as Bhratri dooj, this day is dedicated to the bond of brothers and sisters. Many moons ago in the Vedic era, Yamaraja, the Lord of Death, visited His sister Yamuna on this day. He gave Yamuna a boon that whoever visits her on this day shall be liberated from all sins; they will achieve moksha, liberation. From then on, brothers visit their sisters on this day to inquire about their welfare, and many faithful bathe in the holy waters of the Yamuna River.

Even today sisters eagerly wait for their brothers to meet them and spend a day of Diwali showering her love over him.

These traditional stories and rituals are a part of our culture. Every day of Diwali symbolises at bringing an end to a dark corner in our life just as we light lamps to vanish the darkness in our house. The ritual of lighting lamps, meeting people and sharing a conversation enriches our life and balance our actions for the rest of the year.

May this Diwali bring a new light of joy into your life. Chitale Bandhu wishes you happiness, prosperity, health, wisdom and lots of love, just like the five days of Diwali.

Traditions are the backbone to a social life and celebrate this Diwali by igniting the lives of your near ones sans the firecrackers. Bring home the fireworks of taste as you hitch the taste and ditch the pollution.